The warmer than normal winter hasn't been good for ice fishing, snowmobiling, outdoor contests and festivals but a silver lining can be animals in the state will come through the winter with good numbers.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He explained the Minnesota DNR Winter Severity Index shows no issues for animals in the state.  Schmitt says the color for no issues is yellow.  He indicates last year at this time he saw reds, blacks and oranges which means conditions were bad.  Schmitt says some locations in the state like northeastern Minnesota deer numbers are low and a mild winter is great for them.  He says there is less mortality and less predation from wolves this winter.  Schmitt says if we still get a foot of snow before winter ends it won't likely impact the deer population.

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photo courtesy of Glen Schmitt
photo courtesy of Glen Schmitt

Ice fishing has been dealt another blow with this recent stretch of warm weather.  Schmitt says there are still some people out ice fishing but he expresses extreme caution.  He says a couple of weeks ago ice anglers were just starting to use vehicles on lakes locally and north of St. Cloud some lakes were allowing trucks on the ice.  Schmitt says the top couple of inches of ice are typically soft right now.  He indicated he spotted someone Wednesday fishing open water under a bridge locally.

Trout fishing is something that is gaining in popularity in Minnesota.  Schmitt says there are some lakes in Central Minnesota where you can find trout.  He says these lakes were stocked with trout and include Watab Lake and Mud Lake.  Schmitt explains northern Minnesota and some locations in the Twin Cities also have trout.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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